You know Dasher and Dancer and Prancer and Vixen. Cadmium, mercury, arsenic and chlorine. But, do you recall...

Yes, they have been recalled. Again and again.

The epidemic of foreign-made toxic toys making its way onto retail shelves might be best described as something out of a science fiction movie rather than a beloved holiday song.

In 2007 alone, more than 17 million toys were recalled because they violated federal lead paint standards. In January 2010, the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 55,000 units of children's costume jewelry that contained high levels of cadmium and in June of this year, 12 million promotional drinking glasses sold at McDonald's were recalled because the painted coating contained cadmium.

For parents, figuring out which toys are healthy, which have been recalled and which ones your kids are least likely to lick or otherwise ingest can be a full time job.

Increasingly parents are turning to specialty or organic toys, which may be better for kids health and better for the planet.

Read more about companies making these eco-friendly toys at our sister site, BusinessNewsDaily:

Toxic Toys Create Silver Lining for Green Toy Companies